RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — During the pandemic, the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina has expanded its community garden. Not only does the garden feed the community, but it also teaches people how to grow and harvest their own food.

The community garden coordinator, Loudes Vinueza, has two green thumbs.

Over the past year, she’s transformed the food bank’s community garden. From squash to tomatoes, okra, and everything in-between, Loudes takes special care of each crop. She knows it will eventually make it to someone’s kitchen filled with more nutrients than the produce you find in grocery stores.

“When we harvest fresh food, we are giving very good vitamins and minerals. When we start to harvest, we are losing 30-percent of our nutrients…buying from different states it comes to the table with not [many] nutrients,” said Vinueza.

There are at least 15 different crops spread over the entire garden. The newest additions are a pollinator garden and a greenhouse.

Vinueza says from May until now, she and volunteers have harvested more than 6,000 pounds of organic fruits and vegetables. The crops are given out to the community through the food bank’s partners.

The food bank needs volunteers to keep this garden going. If you’d like to volunteer, click here.